Saturday, January 13, 2007

How how do you procastinate?

Self Procrastination 3
Originally uploaded by Blue Sagittarius.
Adam Pash at Life Hacker posted on Thursday (and I'm just getting around to blogging about it now) about a reader who has coined a new term, intercrastination. As I understand it, intercrastination is what we do when we fall into the Internet and the technology vortex.
It goes like this: I finish one task, update my "next actions" list, then review the list to see what I need to do next. Then I grab a glass of water - might as well pop to the bathroom while I'm at it - then check my emails, Google Reader, click through to a couple of stories... and before I know it, twenty minutes has gone past since I finished my task.
Now, that would never happen to me.

So, I went to flickr to find a photograph to use with this post, and this is what I found, Blue Sagittarius admitting that she procrastinates with her camera, which I'd offer, particularly since it's digital and she posted it to flickr, that she's actually intercrastinating.

Anyway, if you are interesting in combatting your own intercrastination, pop on over to Life Hacker for reader comments on ways to deal with both intercrastination and procrastination.

This week was also the announcement that scientists in Canada had been studying procrastination and had finally gotten around to publishing their study. See Web Worker Daily's post, Procrastination Study: Read This When You Get A Round Tuit. Seth Borenstein, an Associated Press science writer, led off his piece earlier this week with this tongue-in-cheek lead:
Procrastination in society is getting worse and scientists are finally getting around to figuring out how and why. Too many tempting diversions are to blame, but more on that later.
I'm betting he never gets to the "more on that later," like most of us who fall trap to inter- and pro- crastination.

While I couldn't access the original scientific study, here's the abstract, direct from the APA:
Procrastination is a prevalent and pernicious form of self-regulatory failure that is not entirely understood. Hence, the relevant conceptual, theoretical, and empirical work is reviewed, drawing upon correlational, experimental, and qualitative findings. A meta-analysis of procrastination's possible causes and effects, based on 691 correlations, reveals that neuroticism, rebelliousness, and sensation seeking show only a weak connection. Strong and consistent predictors of procrastination were task aversiveness, task delay, self-efficacy, and impulsiveness, as well as conscientiousness and its facets of self-control, distractibility, organization, and achievement motivation. These effects prove consistent with temporal motivation theory, an integrative hybrid of expectancy theory and hyperbolic discounting. Continued research into procrastination should not be delayed, especially because its prevalence appears to be growing. (PsycINFO Database Record (c) 2007 APA, all rights reserved)
Guess I'll be heading out to buy a copy of Volume 133, Issue 1, of the Psychological Bulletin... as soon as I check what's fresh on my Bloglines reader.

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